Irish team arrives in Moscow for boxing championships

The Irish squad arrived in Moscow this morning ahead of the 2010 European Senior Championships which begins Friday in the Russian capital.

The Irish squad arrived in Moscow this morning ahead of the 2010 European Senior Championships which begins Friday in the Russian capital.

The nine-man Irish squad arrived from Kiev in the Ukraine where they have been in training camp with the host nation, Azerbaijan, Armenia and Israel.

The team booked into the Cosmos Hotel in Moscow this morning, a building that brings back special memories for Irish head-coach Billy Walsh.

"We stayed in this hotel in 1986 when we competed at the Goodwill Games, so there's a bit of déjà vu involved, said Walsh.

"The squad are in great spirits. We had a very good training camp in Kiev and now we're just looking forward to getting this tournament underway."

Walsh reached the quarter final of the 1986 Goodwill Games which was in effect a mini Olympics.

He was also captain of the Irish European Senior Championships team in 1991 when Drimnagh featherweight Paul Griffin won Ireland's last gold at this level in Gothenburg, Sweden.

Two years later Griffin claimed bronze at the 1993 European Senior Championships in Bursa, Turkey.

Walsh, meantime, competed at the 1983, 1987 and 91 European Senior Championships, reaching the last eight on each occasion.

"Paul Griffin was a fantastic boxer and he was the last Irishman to win gold at European Senior Championships level, added Walsh.

"The lads will be looking to bridge that 19-year gap at this tournament and they have the talent to do it.

"However, our philosophy is to take it one step at a time in Moscow. If we perform to our full potential at these Championships then I would be quietly confident."

The 2010 European Senior Championships, the 39th edition of the biennial tournament, officially begins on Friday and boxing will start on Saturday, June 5.

Forty-one nations have registered to take part in the 2010 European Senior Championships.

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